Where to Catch Tonight's Perseid Meteor Shower
The Perseids meteor shower, taken in Flagstaff.
Grab a blanket, but forget the telescope -- without a lens you should be able to see the Perseid meteor shower when it peaks between 2 and 5 a.m., Friday morning.
As with any meteor shower, the show is going to be better the further you get from city lights. Evan Scannapieco's a professor at ASU's School of Earth and Science Exploration. He says the shower will feature 60 to 70 Perseid meteors per hour that will shoot across the sky. Of course, you may not be able to catch all of them.
While state parks and most trails are closed during Perseid's prime time, there are still a couple spots you can go to check out the show (even if you don't want to go outside).
1. "Really, you can head in almost any direction out of the city to get a pretty good view of the shower," says Scannapieco. He recommends a short drive out to the West valley (where any parking lot or spot off the highway away from the lights will do) or a drive up to Northern Arizona, if you're game to add some mileage on a Thursday night.
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2. For those who don't want to venture out into the desert, there will be a live meteor radar on spaceweather.com that will feature full coverage of the shower, a "fireball cam," updated meteor counts and pictures from around the globe.
3. And while Tempe Beach Park (if we can call it that anymore) is closed overnight, there's bound to be a few spots of dirt left to throw a blanket at the bottom of the Lake. Just watch out for these guys.
Scannapieco notes the ASU Observatory is closed tonight, but that the ASU Astronomy Club hosts "Open House" events the last Friday of every month, where telescopes are available on top of the Physical Sciences building for viewing and info sessions.
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